Part 2 Summary and Analysis
While Craig doesn’t know why he is depressed—he calls this “the million-dollar question”—he does recount the order of events that led up to him wanting to kill himself.
Craig explains that two years earlier he was accepted into Executive Pre-Professional High School, “one of the best high schools in Manhattan.” Craig considered this a key step for a life of success. To prepare for the exam, Craig had become obsessed with studying for the entrance test, and he passed it with a perfect score.
Craig was thrilled to receive a welcome packet in the mail, and at his mother’s suggestion he called his friend Aaron. Craig reflects that Aaron is “a real friend” and recalls how they met and began watching movies together regularly.
As they first got to know each other, Aaron told Craig that he wanted to be a lawyer. They dreamed about working together and making money.
Holding his acceptance letter, Craig called Aaron. Even though Aaron “didn’t study at all,” he also passed the test. Aaron invited Craig to come to a party at this house that evening. Craig stole scotch from his parents and, arriving at Aaron’s to help set up for the party, tried pot for the first time.
A girl from their class, Nia, arrived. Nia had also been accepted to the same school, and the three shared a group hug. They played a game of Scrabble together, and Craig realized that Nia and Aaron were going to become a couple. More people arrived at the party, which Craig describes as “the best movie [he’d] ever seen.”
During the party, Craig became drunk and “stoned.” He watched Aaron and Nia as they began kissing on the couch. Another girl, Julie, approached Craig, but he decided that for his first kiss he “didn’t want to settle” and rejected her advances. Craig began looking through Aaron’s father’s album collection; he fell asleep near the bookshelf and when he woke up, Aaron and Nia were gone.
When Craig woke up, most people had left the party. The music had stopped, there were cups everywhere, and Ronny was playing PlayStation while a few others slept.
Aaron emerged from his bedroom, where he said Nia was still asleep. Aaron forced Ronny and the others to leave, and he and Craig went for a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. As they walked, Aaron told Craig about his sexual experience with Nia.
Despite the cold, Craig admired the view from the bridge. Reading the plaque about the bridge itself, Craig reflected that he wanted “to leave something like that behind” and that he dreamed of owning “some piece” of the city one day.
Craig decided to climb the bridge and lean out over the water. Aaron turned back, but Craig reached the edge, leaned out “like Christ,” and called out a war cry that he had learned from a children’s book.
“Depression starts slow,” Craig writes. Immediately after “howling off the Brooklyn Bridge,” Craig felt great.
For the remainder of junior high, Craig spent a lot of time “chilling” at Aaron’s house watching movies and smoking pot. Ronny and Nia were usually part of the group. Craig grew angrier about Aaron and Nia’s physical affection, feeling that they were “throwing it in [his] face.” Craig began talking to girls online and masturbating, meanwhile thinking about Nia.
Craig did not complete his summer reading list, and on the first day of school he was shocked to get a 70 on the quiz. He found high school difficult, and instead of working on his many homework assignments, he often simply lay in bed. He began to call challenging things “Tentacles” and felt intimidated by his classmates. Despite his struggles, Craig got 93s in his classes, which he dismissed as “the crap grade.”
In December, Craig experienced “stress vomiting for the first time” while at a restaurant with his family. When he returned from the bathroom, he told his parents that he thought he was depressed.
Craig then met with Dr. Barney. He...
(The entire section is 1,298 words.)